A wind of positive change has been gathering momentum in Nigeria’s political space as technology lights up the dark alleys. In these dark alleys, greedy evil men lurk to deceive and disenfranchise the common man and usurp his vote, his very lifeblood, his dreams, and those of his children, even the unborn.

The evil concocted in these alleys take away the rights and access of the majority to education, healthcare, decent homes, entrepreneurship, worthy standards of living and put them in the hands of a fraudulent few, to fritter away, seemingly till time immemorial.

However, emerging technologies are redefining time immemorial and transmitting it upon us in the here and now. These technologies encapsulate information, time, space and imagery into small hand-held portals which transmit to places far and near in milliseconds. These portals, especially mobile phones, transmit to all corners of the world at the touch of a button, often with tremendous consequences and at very low and affordable cost.

The affordable cost make these hand held portals pervasive. As at January 2021 there were an estimated 187.9 million registered mobile subscriptions in Nigeria.

As a result, peoples’ identities, activities and records are more accessible and verifiable, making it difficult for politicians to present themselves in false glowing garb, or to be presented poorly by dubious others without recourse.

However, corruption is fighting back and politicians are reported to be subverting the same technologies to tar their opponents and seek undue advantage.

With technology as it stands today, an individual’s activities, engagements and transactions can be traced and tracked from the cradle to the grave. Consequently, the character, capacity, history and records of aspirants to political office soon become glaring.

As such, people with the blemish of crime or other unsavory acts in their history, should know to keep away from the political space, so as to avoid further embarrassment and failure. This should clear the space of tarred contenders and make it easier for the voter to discern between a good or bad political candidate.

Furthermore, mobile phone technology with its attendant internet, social media and imaging capacities, avails the average would be politician who is not necessarily rich, a platform for access, exposure and interaction with the electorate at very modest cost.

This puts him or her into previously unlikely contention with the deep pocket politicians and presents an opportunity to upturn the apple cart.

Examples of this are rife across the world, as in the case of Barrack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States of America, who was considered a rank outsider.

Obama leveraged into US presidency largely on the back of technology platforms, especially social media, to the surprise and chagrin of better favoured contenders.

Another advantage that technology puts forward is the electronic voting system which has the capacity to capture and transmit voting outcomes instantaneously, making election rigging and other forms of manipulation most difficult.

So the stuffing or carting away of ballot boxes become difficult and unattractive, further levelling the playing field.

Then there are the voice, text and imaging capabilities of the mobile phone which enable multimedia situation reports from the polling stations to be instantaneously transmitted around the world at the push of a button. This discourages fraud and fraudsters.

The transparency brought into electoral processes by technology also encourages persons of conscience and goodwill to set aside their previous doubts and misgivings and step forward to run for office. This is progressively improving on the quality of political office holders and of governance.

Also, the huge volume of information, positive and negative, flowing in the media space, especially on social media, encourages political players, umpires and other stakeholders to present themselves at town hall meetings and at other local and global forums to tell their stories, dispel doubts and show themselves in the best light before the voters.

Indeed, a number of aspirants as well as the chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, have made appearances at the famous Chatham House.

Meanwhile, in what looks like a case of corruption fighting back, political parties are subverting the same technology tools which are delivering so much good to the country’s political space.

A BBC investigation reports that political parties in Nigeria are secretly paying social media influencers to spread disinformation about their opponents ahead of general elections in February.

The BBC’s Global Disinformation Team has spoken to whistle-blowers working for two of Nigeria’s political parties, and prominent influencers who have described it as “an industry”.